Mar 13, 2009

jon stewart & cnbc mayhem

i watched the first daily show clips of jon stewart going after cnbc, and i watched jim cramer's appearance on the show, and then i read the new york times article about the entire brou-ha-ha.

it kills me that both jim cramer and the new york times missed, or ignored, the point jon stewart was making.

cramer attempted to cover his ass, essentially by saying no one can see the future and he should have done a better job, but didn't. and i don't blame him for his defensiveness, since cnbc basically threw him to the wolves on this one (hey - that cramer fellow, he's funny and acerbic, he'll be able to take on stewart! yeah, let's send him to do the clean up!)

alessandra stanley spent most of column space talking about the way stewart "act[ed] out a cathartic ritual of indignation and castigation" with cramer during the interview. she seemed to find most interesting stewart's use of embarrassing footage of cramer.

come on - really? that's the best each of these people could do? stewart repeatedly and continually uses his show as a forum to ridicule the sad state of affairs in news media: that should be a hint. stewart even admitted that it was a shame that cramer now had to be the face of cnbc in this public 'feud' since his point isn't that it's just cramer (although he is part of the problem):

it's the ethos of cnbc, which bills itself as the place to look for financial information, in that they are in the business of entertainment more than they are in the business of helping the regular joes and josies figure out how to protect their financial resources.

stewart's point, which cramer couldn't see during his sacrificial place in stewart's spotlight, and stanley didn't bother to write about since it's not the more entertaining hook to her coverage of the segment, is that cnbc lets its reporters get away with not being reporters and they have just as much responsibility as any other news media source to check their facts and sources, build their cases, and report the truth behind the PR talking points.

the daily show and stewart make their living from criticizing what and who makes the news. like any good jester, stewart mocks the power players and tells more truth than any one in the court. the fact that he and his team actually do a better job as journalists/reporters within the confines of their comedy show says way too much about how the news is told today.

they aren't going up for any pulitzer prizes, but the way everyone else goes about the business of telling news, it just looks like that wouldn't be such a far-fetched idea. the daily show has more credibility than any of the rest of them, and that's just sad. and that is the part that gets jon stewart the most angry.